Saturday 30 August 2014: The ACCA Clinical Decision-Making Toolkit mobile app is now available on the App Store and Google Play.
When dealing with acute cardiovascular diseases, a few seconds can make the difference and instant access to the best recommendations can save lives. This led the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA) of the ESC to develop a user friendly interactive application, allowing professionals to have immediate access to diagnostics pathways on their mobile devices.
The Toolkit on emergency cardiac care, first published as a pocket-sized manual, is helping practitioners across the globe to make the best decisions in seconds. The Toolkit was created by expert members of ACCA and can be downloaded here.
Professor Héctor Bueno, President Elect and Acting President of ACCA and Editor in Chief of the Toolkit, said: “We have created the first tool to help all healthcare professionals who treat patients with acute cardiovascular syndromes to make the correct decisions fast.”
Some 30 percent of all positive hospital blood culture samples are discarded every day because they’re “contaminated” - they reflect the presence of skin germs instead of specific disease-causing bacteria.
Rather than toss these compromised samples into the trash, clinicians may be able to use the resistance profiles of skin bacteria identified by these tests to treat patients with antibiotics appropriate to their ailment, Tel Aviv University researchers say. Dr. Gidi Stein and Dr. Danny Alon of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Internal Medicine B. at Beilinson Hospital, Rabin Medical Center, and Prof. Lilach Hadany and Uri Obolski of the Department of Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants at TAU’s Faculty of Life Sciences conducted a retrospective study on more than 2,500 patients. Their test results demonstrate the unique diagnostic value of “erroneous” cultures.
The study showed the immediate effects on both public health questions and the treatment of individuals whose blood has been contaminated. The results were published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Think before you toss
The more resistant the skin germs, the higher the risk of the infecting bacteria to be resistant, the researchers found. “These results can certainly be used for on-site clinical decisions. Once a contaminated sample has been found to be highly resistant, it is likely that the blood-borne pathogens will have a similar resistance pattern. Thus antibiotic treatment may be better targeted for the actual pathogens,” says Prof. Hadany.
Low dose aspirin lowers the occurrence of new venous blood clots - and represents a reasonable treatment option for patients who are not candidates for long-term anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, according to a new study published in today’s issue of Circulation.
“The study provides clear, consistent evidence that low-dose aspirin can help to prevent new venous blood clots and other cardiovascular events among people who are at risk because they have already suffered a blood clot,” says the study’s lead author, University of Sydney Professor, John Simes.
“The treatment effect of aspirin is less than can be achieved with warfarin or other new generation direct thrombin inhibitors, which can achieve more than an 80 per cent reduction in adverse circulatory and cardiopulmonary events.
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have developed a new integrated approach to pinpoint the genetic “drivers” of cancer, uncovering eight genes that could be viable for targeted breast cancer therapy.
The study, published online August 24 in Nature Genetics, was authored by Michael Gatza, PhD, lead author and post-doctoral research associate; Grace Silva, graduate student; Joel Parker, PhD, director of bioinformatics, UNC Lineberger; Cheng Fan, research associate; and senior author Chuck Perou, PhD, professor of genetics and pathology.
These researchers studied a variety of cancer causing pathways, the step-by-step genetic alterations in which normal cells transition into cancerous cells, including the pathway that governs cancer cell growth rates. A high growth rate of cells, also known as cell proliferation, is recognized to be associated with poor prognosis for breast cancer patients.
Analyzing multiple types of genomic data, UNC Lineberger researchers were able to identify eight genes that were amplified on the genomic DNA level, and necessary for cell proliferation in luminal breast cancer, which is the most common sub-type of breast cancer.
Exercising to improve our cardiovascular strength may protect us from cognitive impairment as we age, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Institut universitaire de gératrie de Montréal Research Centre. “Our body’s arteries stiffen with age, and the vessel hardening is believed to begin in the aorta, the main vessel coming out of the heart, before reaching the brain. Indeed, the hardening may contribute to cognitive changes that occur during a similar time frame,” explained Claudine Gauthier, first author of the study. “We found that older adults whose aortas were in a better condition and who had greater aerobic fitness performed better on a cognitive test. We therefore think that the preservation of vessel elasticity may be one of the mechanisms that enables exercise to slow cognitive aging.”
The researchers worked with 31 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 and 54 older participants aged between 55 and 75. This enabled the team to compare the older participants within their peer group and against the younger group who obviously have not begun the aging processes in question. None of the participants had physical or mental health issues that might influence the study outcome. Their fitness was tested by exhausting the participants on a workout machine and determining their maximum oxygen intake over a 30 second period. Their cognitive abilities were assessed with the Stroop task. The Stroop task is a scientifically validated test that involves asking someone to identify the ink colour of a colour word that is printed in a different colour (e.g. the word red could be printed in blue ink and the correct answer would be blue). A person who is able to correctly name the colour of the word without being distracted by the reflex to read it has greater cognitive agility.
The participants undertook three MRI scans: one to evaluate the blood flow to the brain, one to measure their brain activity as they performed the Stroop task, and one to actually look at the physical state of their aorta.
Thanks to important discoveries in basic and clinical research and technological advances, the fight against cancer has mobilized into a complex offensive spanning multiple fronts.
Work happening in a University of Alberta chemistry lab could help find new and more selective therapies for cancer. Researchers have developed a compound that targets a specific enzyme overexpressed in certain cancers - and they have tested its activity in cells from brain tumours.
Chemistry professor Christopher Cairo and his team synthesized a first-of-its-kind inhibitor that prevents the activity of an enzyme called neuraminidase. Although flu viruses use enzymes with the same mechanism as part of the process of infection, human cells use their own forms of the enzyme in many biological processes.
Cairo’s group collaborated with a group in Milan, Italy, that has shown that neuraminidases are found in excess amounts in glioblastoma cells, a form of brain cancer.